9 Things to Do After a Car Accident in Waterbury
Car accidents can lead to hefty medical bills, costly property damage, and rising insurance rates. If someone’s negligence caused the accident, there may even be legal action to follow. With so much at stake, it’s important to stay calm and protect your rights by taking certain steps.
1. Stay at the Scene
When you’re involved in a car accident, you’re legally obligated to stay at the scene. While investigators would prefer to see the scene untouched, it might be safer to move your vehicle to the side of the road to prevent further collisions. If you have time and it’s safe to do so, you may want to document the accident by taking a picture of your car’s position before you move it.
2. Help the Injured
Take note of any injuries at the scene of the accident. If there are life-threatening injuries, you should immediately call 911 and try to help the injured.
3. Call the Police
If there are injuries at the scene of the accident, a police report may be required. Even if a report isn’t legally required, some insurance companies require a report before you can file a claim with them. When calling 911, you’ll need to let the operator know the following details:
- The specific location of the accident.
- The extent of the injuries, including what injuries you’ve sustained.
- Dangerous elements of the scene, like broken glass or fire.
4. Document the Scene
Documentation is going to be vital in any investigations or claims. Document the accident by taking pictures or assessing your dash cam video. If you have visible injuries, take pictures of them. You may want to continue to take pictures of your injuries in the coming days. This is to document how your injuries heal or worsen. If the police arrive and file a report, request the report number. You may also want to take note of responding police officer’s names and badge numbers.
5. Exchange Information
Even if the car accident is minor enough that police don’t come to the scene, you should exchange information with other drivers involved. The information you’ll want to exchange includes:
- Phone Number
- Insurance Policy Number
- Insurance Company Name
- Driver’s License Number
- License Plate Number
- The color and make and model of the car.
Other people who have stopped at the accident may be important witnesses. Get their names and contact information.
6. Seek Medical Attention
If the police offer you medical attention and you’re injured, accept it. Even if you don’t feel injured when the accident happens, you should have a medical evaluation in the upcoming days. During the shock of a car accident, it may take your body days to feel the full extent of your injuries. Some very severe injuries, such as internal bleeding, don’t have immediate symptoms, but may be discovered by an experienced medical professional.
7. File an Accident Report with the Police
Even if the police didn’t file an accident report, you may still need to. An accident report is required within 5 days of the accident in cases involving damages of $1,000 or more.
8. Notify Your Insurance Company
Many insurance companies require notification in the case of an accident. Failing to report can get you fined or dropped from your policy. Contact your insurance company to let them know of the accident and file an accident report. Keep the claim number for your records. If the accident involved injury or property damage, you may need to contact the other driver’s insurance company, as well.
9. Consult an Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and want to know your legal options, you should get the advice of experienced legal counsel. A lawyer can give you advice on what documents to sign and how to best file an insurance claim. Contact Waterbury car accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Thomas E. Porzio, LLC. to explore your legal options. Call (203) 573-0019 for a free legal consultation.
Contact an Attorney
Getting into an accident can be overwhelming. You’re suddenly bombarded with medical expenses and piles of paperwork. Seeking experienced legal counsel is recommended to receive the full amount of compensation that you’re entitled to after a car accident. Our car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas E. Porzio, LLC. can assist you in understanding your legal options. Call (203) 573-0019 for a free legal consultation.